Steve Gillespie still has a few openings left at the upcoming Massachusetts Tattoo Convention at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA! Call the studio at 978-744-9393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org via the Contact Form with inquiries!
It’s Tattoo Time…
Okay, now it’s the day before your appointment!! I know you’re excited, but there are a few things you want to keep in mind so that your tattoo experience is the best that it can be! First, make sure you get a really good night’s sleep the night before your appointment. If you are well rested, you will be able to deal better with the stresses of the process. Also, don’t drink heavily the night before; it makes you very sensitive to sensations and will prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Also, it sucks to get tattooed with a hangover and if you have thinned your blood with alcohol you could bleed out a lot of the ink your artist is attempting to put in!!
Its good to shower prior to your appointment, so you have fresh, clean skin; also, if you’ve got any hair in the area that you are getting tattooed, you can shave to prep the area, if you have a general idea of size and placement. If you aren’t comfortable with that, your artist will take care of it for you at the beginning of your appointment.
Make sure to stay hydrated the day of your appointment and to eat a good meal just beforehand. It is very important that your body has the energy to deal with the experience and you definitely want to give it more fuel than just chips or a quick snack. Bring plenty of water and a couple snacks with you, if you are booked for a longer appointment, as you may want to take a break mid-way through your appointment to give your body more fuel to work with.
It is very important to mentally prepare yourself, as well. Everyone feels it differently, but it is at least irritating and at worst painful. Depending on your pain threshold, the location of the tattoo and many other factors, you may feel it more or less than friends or family that you have spoken to about it. It may be good to get yourself centered and grounded; some people prefer to really focus on the sensation itself, or may use meditation in order to overcome the pain. Some people prefer to distract themselves from the sensation with music, movies or by talking with the artist or a friend. Overall do what works best for you because everyone will deal with the experience differently. You may want to psych yourself up a bit, so you can get your adrenaline going, which will help with pain management, but don’t psych yourself out and make yourself overly sensitive or second guess what you’re doing.
You’ve Made It Through!!
You did it! You’re tattoo session is complete and you made it! Was it what you thought it would be? It wasn’t so bad, right? You may even have already started planning your next one!
So, now that you’re done, the most important thing is taking very good care of it! You have a large abrasion on your body and its going to take a bit of time to heal, and you have to make sure you do everything in your power to help it heal properly with the least amount of ink loss.
Your artist will probably have bandaged your tattoo at the end of your appointment, so you don’t leak lymph and blood and ink everywhere while your skin starts to clot. After a couple of hours, or when you are ready to wash it, remove the bandage and clean thoroughly. Sometimes its easiest to clean it in the shower, so if you have that option, use it. If the bandage has stuck to your skin, soak it with warm water first and it should peel off after a few minutes. There will be a lot of ink on the surface of your skin and on the bandage… don’t worry, it’s normal, your tattoo is not falling out! Using a fragrance free anti-bacterial liquid soap, wash your hands first, then your tattoo. You want to get all the lymph and blood off your skin, and you want it to feel smooth when you’re done washing it. The less material on the surface of your skin, the less of a scab will form. When you have thoroughly rinsed your tattoo, you can pat it dry with a clean paper towel or let it air dry.
The most important thing now, is to let it breathe! Let the air get at it and keep it clean and dry for the next few days. It is ideal to wash it 2-3 times a day as you can. If needed, you can apply the tiniest amount of fragrance free hand cream to it, to relieve tightness and to prevent cracking, but you never want your skin to feel damp or greasy.
It can up to 3 weeks for your skin to look healed after your tattoo, and it can take up to 3 months for your skin to completely regenerate and be considered fully healed. During that time, make sure to keep it clean; if you work in a dirty environment or go to the gym or public places that have questionable surfaces, you might want to keep it covered with loose clothing, but generally you want it to be able to breathe.
Don’t pick or scratch at it! I know it itches, but don’t do it… if you must, slap it lightly (with a clean hand) until it stops itching. Also, if you pick off those scabs, you could be lifting ink up with it or you could scar your skin and mar the tattoo.
Protect it from the sun! For the first few weeks, you definitely want to keep it covered with clothing and not use sunscreen to protect it, as it could interfere with the healing process; after it has fully healed, you want to always at least have sunscreen on it to protect it from the sun. The sun is the tattoo-killer and will fade the color right out of your tattoo if you aren’t careful.
You also don’t want to submerge it in water during the first month or so. Showers are fine, baths are not. Also, beware of hot tubs, swimming pools, ponds and the ocean; there are chemicals and bacteria in all of these places that can adversely effect your tattoo while it is healing.
Taking care of your tattoo during the healing process and beyond will help to protect your investment and keep your tattoo looking beautiful for years to come. You didn’t go through all that pain to be stuck with a tattoo that is sub-par because you burned out the color or scratched off a scab and scarred it.
As always, if you aren’t sure about something, ask your artist!! Call the studio at 978-744-9393 and we will walk you through the process!!
Getting a tattoo is a big decision, and not one to be made lightly. If you have never been tattooed before, it can be a daunting process to begin. There are a few things to know or to keep in mind when you start thinking about getting your first tattoo, which will make the experience less stressful and will help you to get a tattoo that you will love forever!
In the Beginning…
The first thing to do when you have decided it is time to get tattooed, is to figure out what you want. You may know exactly what you want to have permanently etched on your skin, you might have a vague idea (or ideas), or you may have no clue what you want. If you know exactly what you want or if you have a vague idea, you need to start looking at what artist will be able to execute your tattoo in the style that you are looking for. If you have no idea what you want tattooed, now is the time to figure it out.
Think about what is important to you; what types of art do you like? Have you seen any tattoos that have made you swoon? Do you want to do a tribute or memorial for a family member and if so, what do you associate with them? Do you want to mark your religious or spiritual beliefs on your skin? Your cultural history? These are some of the questions to ask yourself to get you started. You are going to have to look at your tattoos the rest of your life, be sure that you have ink you want to be looking at!!
Now that you’ve figured out what you want, now is the time to pick the artist. Do you have a particular style of tattoo that you are interested in? Realism? Traditional? Illustrative? Black and Gray? Color? Start looking at artists’ portfolios; do you see similar styles of work to what you want? If you want a tattoo that is mostly line-work, are their lines clean and precise? If you are looking for color work, is their color solid and bright? Do they specialize in the style of tattoo that you want? While you might not see similar pieces in their portfolios, see if the qualities of the tattoos are ones that you are drawn to or match the types of tattoos that you prefer.
Once you have determined what artist you want to work with, set up a consultation appointment with them. To prepare for you consult, do your research!! Look in books, magazine and online for art and images that you like. You don’t need to look at other tattoos to get ideas, look at all kinds of styles of art to find images that you can share with your artist to describe what you are looking to have done as a tattoo. Look for images that you like the color palette of, the shape of x or y, the face of this and the body of that; this style of art, but that subject matter…. you get the idea. But the more clear references you have, the easier it will be to tell your artist what you want.
During your consult, they will sit down with you and go over your design ideas, and figure out exactly what will work best for you; bring all your references and make sure to share what you like about each. You will also want to talk to them about placement and size, which you should mostly already have thought about. Try to be open minded during this conversation; while you might think a tattoo will work at a certain size or in a certain place, their experience might be different from your imagination. Some tattoos don’t heal well if they are done too small, some places might be harder to heal than others, and some designs might flow better with the shape of your body in certain locations compared to others. This is one of the most important parts of the process and it is very important to have clear communication with your artist and to let them know what is important to you and what you would be flexible about.
When you have gone over the idea, the artist will be able to give you a general idea of how much time it will take to tattoo and the cost. Now you can book an appointment! When you’re booking think about what your schedule will be like for a few days after getting tattooed. If it is a larger tattoo, you might want to plan it so you have a day or two to recover. Also, you won’t be able to go to the beach, swim in pools or use hot tubs for a few weeks after the tattoo, and you’ll have to be very careful of sun exposure, so if you’re going on vacation somewhere tropical, or have an event planned that would be effected by these kinds of limitations, you might want to hold off until afterwards.
Now that you’ve got your appointment set, you’ll need to prepare yourself to get tattooed and to take care of it while it’s healing. Stay tuned for Part 2 to learn more!!
We just added some newer pieces to Steve’s Portfolio! Go check them out and book your appointment with him today! Steve’s Portfolio
Here are some of our favorites:
Jaesun just celebrated his 1 year anniversary here in Salem!! He has created some beautiful tattoos since he’s joined us and we wanted to share a few that we just added to his Portfolio, click the link to see more of his work!! We are so excited to have him as part of our crew!
In between tattoos and even on their days off, the Witch City artists have been cranking out art. They certainly love what they do, and we love that they do it.
Lately, Molly has been inspired by the black plague.
Just kidding. Sort of.
PJ’s preferred drawing surface these days are simple paper bags. This is a very visually pleasing way to recycle!
Steve is becoming more and more ambitious with his painting these days. The below piece is in its very beginning stages, but it’s something like 22×28″.
Judging by the chill in the air this morning, summer may officially be over, but things aren’t slowing down over here at Witch City Ink. We’ve been plenty busy this week making people happy with their new tattoos!
Molly did this lovely lotus flower on a very nice young lady’s calf. Lotus flowers are often seen a symbol of divine beauty, and this tattoo is no exception.
Steve finished this in an absurdly short amount of time! What’s better than a skull? A crystal skull.
Whenever someone comes into the shop requesting something traditional, we will usually refer them to PJ. Few things make him happier than getting to tattoo in this style.
And last but not least, Natan did this piece on a brave fellow’s side. Perhaps you might recognize it?
We’re already starting to book appointments for October, so if you’re planning on coming to Salem for the autumn/Halloween season and want to get tattooed by us, you might want to contact us in the next few weeks!
New flash available! Designed by Sailor Jerry, re-drawn and painted by micah r. o. litant. Prices vary, but high-fives are always free. Inquire within to get one of these tattoos today!
_witch city ink
978 744 9393
So, we've got a brand new buddy working with us in the shop these days, P.J. Blanchard. Make sure to check out his portfolio of AWESOME traditional work and book out some time with him, as he'd be glad to work with you. Welcome aboard, P.J!
_witch city ink
978 744 9393
Although the darkness has been encroaching earlier and earlier every day, we've been keeping the candles burning bright and finishing up lots of new work in the shop here! Check out Steve's portfolio page for a slew of new photos after taking a look at a couple of his pieces below and a finished up chest tattoo from Micah.New pirate pinup tattoo by Steve Gillespie.
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If you'd like to book out some time for an appointment or a consult, just give us a ring or stop on by. Open every day, 12-8.
_witch city ink
186-3 Essex St.
Salem, MA 01970
978 744 9393